In Germany, they don’t usually celebrate Halloween, but it’s become more popular over the years and this year I will be attending my second-ever Halloween party because it also happens to be a friend’s birthday.
So these past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind…friends and family everywhere and organising, well, everything. And then exams on top of it all. Therefore, apologies for the delay but it was unavoidable.
In spite of the stress that comes along with a wedding, even just the registry, it was an amazing time and the only people missing were my brothers who were working and studying (and posting) back home and a few of my Aussie friends.
It all started with the arrival of my parents, which I posted about here. Turns out, they had fun playing in the snow, which was one of the things that mum was really hoping for. She got her wish! It even snowed the morning of the wedding, but by the time we went into the Registry, the sun was shining and it was beautiful (though still freezing cold!).
We took them to the Ritter Sport Factory in Waldenbuch, a small town not far from Stuttgart. They ended up buying about 5kgs of chocolate but it was crazy cheap so, in other words, it was totally justified! The factory seconds section is a chocolate-lovers’ dream. You can also attend a chocolate workshop and create your own.
The problem with Stuttgart is that it is a very green, outdoorsy kind of city, so when the weather is crap, there isn’t a whole lot that you can do. Other than the chocolate factory and museum, we mostly went shopping and my parents also visited Burg Hohenzollern with some friends. The castle is quite amazing and boasts a spectacular view of the Swabian Alb.
We headed to Lake Constance after the ceremony and a lovely lunch in a German restaurant. The special thing about this lake is that it is owned and bordered by Germany, Austria and Switzerland. So driving around the lake means potentially visiting three different countries. Not knowing how March weather would be, we booked a wellness hotel with a spa, sauna and swimming pool. The hotel, Bodensee Hotel Sonnenhof in Kressbronn was amazing though we were disappointed by the fact that they had arranged nothing special for us despite us bringing 13 other guests with us and us telling them that we were going there to celebrate our wedding.
We spent our weekend relaxing, eating very well and visiting some cities situated by the lake. Two of our friends are sort of semi-experts on the area because they visit so often, so we had our own personal tour guides. We visited Lindau and Friedrichshafen and then a small, family-run animal park. We also walked down to the hotels private beach and visited the animals that live on the property.
Lindau is an island in Bavaria on the eastern side of the lake. It has a charming old town and a beautiful harbour. The city is full of history at every turn and feels more like a small town despite the throngs of tourists that visit. I enjoyed the visit to Lindau the most, and hope to explore other cities at Lake Constance in future.
Friedrichshafen also has an old town, feels however, more modern because of the large shopping centre and amount of cars entering and exiting the city at all times. It too, has a lovely waterfront but it is a university city and is situated on the northern part of the lake. It is also home to the Zeppelin Museum and has cute fachwerk buildings that are just so typically German.
All in all, despite the planning and organising stress, we had a wonderful time and I sneaked in some travel. Also, I found my wedding dress! Well in advance but it was just too perfect 🙂
Our parents are travelling to Stuttgart to visit me in just a few days and I’m so excited because the weather is really amazing and hopefully we’ll get to do a lot together.
The last time the whole family was here was in December 2011 and it was typical European December weather. Cold, grey and wet. Though it was fun and interesting, the different seasons really play a huge role in determining mood and activities. Unlike in Australia where the weather is generally quite calm, here, something like snow can decide whether or not you can even leave the house.
Right now it is a lovely 17°C which is astounding for early March. Then again, can we really predict the weather accurately these days?
I’m looking forward to being able to go to the zoo, the chocolate factory and visiting some of the castles in the region. I’m also going to be trying on wedding dresses with my parents, which will be a new experience for all of us.
Needless to say, there will definitely be stories to tell. We’re also heading to Bodensee, or Lake Constance for a wellness weekend with our families and friends. The lake is special because it is bordered by three different countries, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
My camera is ready to go and since we’re staying on the German side of the lake, my internet will be too, and I hope to post about our weekend later in the month.
Til then, take care and I hope the sun is shining brightly wherever you are!